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The Good Neighbor

The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

By Maxwell King
14 hours 7 minutes
Bookseller Recommendation

The Good Neighbor

“A wonderful biography of an American icon who seemed too good to be true. And yet, believe it or not, he was an even better, more caring man than he portrayed on television. If you are a fan of Fred Rogers and want to understand what drove him to create Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, this is an essential read. Learning more about Rogers’ life through the words of his family and friends in this well-researched and comprehensive biography will give you even more reason to admire the man. And when’s the last time a biography made you cry tears of joy?”

Octavia Books image James Wilson, Octavia Books

Fred Rogers (1928–2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children.

As the creator and star of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.

The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

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“Fred launched the ship that carried us all.”

LeVar Burton

Reviews

“In King’s [The Good Neighbor] … the inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.”

Booklist

“Mere pages into this beautiful account, tears began to roll down my cheeks as my heart remembered the kind and gentle manner of Mr. Rogers. Deeply researched, Maxwell King’s biography brings Rogers to life in small moments recalled by those who knew him best. Through a meticulous unspooling of his childhood, we learn why Fred Rogers—a child born into extreme wealth who could have done anything or nothing with his life—wound up of all things a child whisperer, a seer of the human heart, a builder of bridges constructed of unconditional love and acceptance. Reading King’s narrative, one cannot help but long for a time when children spent their afternoons watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; one cannot help but sense that what we all need right now is an infusion of Fred Rogers’ enduring teachings back onto our airwaves and into our America.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims , author of How to Raise an Adult

About the Author

Maxwell King is the CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation. After a career in journalism, including eight years as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, King served as president of the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments for nearly a decade.


Related Reading

LeVar Burton Interview on Behind the Mic
AudioFile

5 beautiful things we learn about Mister Rogers from new biography, 'The Good Neighbor'
USA Today

Get an Exclusive Look Inside the First Full-Length Mister Rogers Biography
TIME

The Good Neighbor review
Kirkus

Author
ISBN 9781621888437
Length 14 hours 7 minutes
Language English
Publisher Oasis Audio
Publication Date
Edition Unabridged
Libro.fm Rank #37 Overall
Genre Rank #1 in Education
 
Mister Rogers speaks directly into the camera to the little children who are quietly, intently watching: “It helps to say that you’re sad. Often it even helps to cry . . . let people know how you feel.” This is Rogers’s signature message: feelings are all right, whatever is mentionable is manageable, however confusing and scary life may become. Even with death and loss and pain, it’s okay to feel all of it, and then go on. You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. In a now-famous Rogers dictum, delivered in speeches and in his books, he advises adults: “Please, think of the children first. If you ever have anything to do with their entertainment, their food, their toys, their custody, their day care, their health, their education – please listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them."
Celebrate Small Business Saturday! Over 150 great audiobooks on sale from now thru Saturday, November 24th! Shop the Sale

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